My friend Laura is a social impact designer who has an unconventional passion for clothing. She realized long ago that we buy far more clothes than we need, simply because we can. Since then, she’s been looking to find different ways to get people to fall in love with their clothing.

Telling people to “not buy more stuff” is a relatively impossible mission, after all, there’s a 550 billion $ industry telling you to do the opposite, so I came up with a slightly different approach.

Why not try to tackle the problem through emotions by simply showing people how many clothes they probably will accumulate over the course of their lifetime?

The first thing we needed to do was to gather a “lifetime of clothing”. An individual’s “lifetime closet” varied greatly based on gender, wealth, time and culture – but after studying different statistics and graphs, we decided to focus on the lifetime of clothing that an individual in a developed nation might roughly wear over the course of their lifetime:  3000 items.

Clothing was provided to us by student volunteers of Fayoum University

Housing the clothing in an interesting way was the next challenge. Since we normally discard clothing over time, our closets are designed to only hold what we currently use; but what if we could make a closet so tall, that somebody could, in a single instant – look up and see what their lifetime of clothing might look like?

Thus the idea of creating the World’s Tallest Closet was born.

CanEX aluminum offered to lend us a recycled Steel structure from their factories.

We wanted the installation to be more than just a pretty piece of art. We wanted it to become a space which could also be used to generate tangible action and to encourage individuals to think locally. Depending on where you live, clothing donations are not always the best course of action but with over 220,000 refugees in Egypt (and rising), we thought it would be best to use the installation as an opportunity to collect clothing for the duration of its life.

All the clothes used for the installation have been promised to http://www.refuge-egypt.org

Over the course of five long twenty hour days, we assembled the 6000 kg steel structure, laid out 180 meters of wire, and hung up the 3000 pieces of clothes that we had collected within the Mall of Arabia in Cairo, which graciously offered to host our installation. With two massive doors describing the installation, our hope was that the structure could be experienced individually, but also easily shared online with friends and family.

The installation will be up at the Mall of Arabia, Phase 2, located between Gate 9 and the Atrium under the hashtag #TallestCloset. Individuals can come and visit the installation between the 14th of December and the 8th of January 2019! For the rest of you online, we documented the entire process with the help of Fox – Creative & Visual:

Visit the Official Website: http://www.TallestCloset.com

Special thanks to:

  • NEXUS MENA for inviting us to create this project.
  • The Mall of Arabia, and Marakez for hosting us.
  • Mutassem from CANEX Aluminum who helped us to produce this project.
  • Mohammed Hosny who helped us coordinate the collection of over 3000 individual items of clothing with the help of students from Fayoum University
  • Volunteers: Karim Osama. Hassan Eldeeb, Youssef Medhat Omar, Omar Medhat Omaar, Mohammad Alsawaf, Aly Dahawy. Moe Osama, Omar Attalla

Media Requests

  • Feel free to quote and publish the photos in your online publication (please credit & link back to the original).
  • High-Rez press images, BTS and more can be found in this dropbox link. Specific Terms of Use can be found here.
  • Commercial requests and rights: suzy@suzyjohnston.com
  • Read more about the project at Clothingtheloop.org
  • Interview Requests: clothingtheloop@gmail.com

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